Firmware upgrade on C64 component mod board

NewHome Forums C64 & ZX Spectrum Video Enhancement Firmware upgrade on C64 component mod board

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  • #41392
    djc6
    Participant

    I picked up a used Altera USB blaster off eBay to attempt a firmware upgrade with Quartus Prime Lite edition. Anyone ever do this? Curious any tips or gotchas I should be aware of.

    #41408
    djc6
    Participant

    WARNING: This is my first time flashing FPGA, guide below at your own risk! Not responsible for bricked device!!

    Here is how I ended up successfully upgrading firmware on mac C64 component mod, inspired by a post on Commodore 64/128 Facebook group.

    First, I got a used Altera USB Blaster on eBay. Another affordable NEW option supported by Quartus Prime is the Terasic USB Blaster, available for $50 from Mouser & DigiKey in USA:

    https://www.terasic.com.tw/cgi-bin/page/archive.pl?Language=English&CategoryNo=74&No=46

    Next, I followed this guide to install VirtualBox, Ubuntu and Quartus Prime on my Mac Mini. NOTE: I would make 30GB minimum VM. The installer files are a couple gigabytes, and once installed it takes up like 10GB on the disk – plus space needed for Ubuntu.

    https://siytek.com/quartus-mac-virtualbox-ubuntu/

    Only differences were I used latest Quartus Prime Lite (v21.0) and Ubuntu 18.04 LTS – latest version that Quartus Prime supports.

    I used “Lite” edition of Quartus Prime, and instead of downloading the huge 10GB “Combined Files” version, I went to Individual Files tab on Intel’s website and downloaded only “Quartus Prime (includes Nios II EDS)” and “MAX 10 FPGA device support” (the kind of FPGA used by the mod). Put them in the same folder, and the installer will find the MAX 10 FPGA files.

    One extra step I had to do in the guide was run ./jtagd prior to ./jtagconfig near the end of the guide, right after creating sym link for libudev. I ran it from within ~/intelFPGA_lite/20.1/quartus/bin directory – same location as ./jtagconfig. Its possible if I’d just restarted Quartus and/or VM that jtagd would have started up on its own (since its a daemon) after the permissions fix and symlink fix outlined in guide above.

    Firmware can be found here: https://github.com/c0pperdragon/C64-Video-Enhancement/releases – you need to grab the .pof file.

    Next, go to Tools->Programmer in Quartus Prime and set it up to look like my screenshot 🙂

    View post on imgur.com

    You want to orient JTAG cable like this, there is a very small marking on board indicating which end of JTAG connector is pin 1:

    View post on imgur.com

    One question I had is if the C64 needs to be powered on during firmware upgrade – or does JTAG provide power to the FPGA? A photo on Facebook from someone who knows what he is doing had C64 powered on, so I did this and it worked. But this is one question I still have.

    #41452
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster

    Thanks for the hints and tips! Yes, you need the C64 powered on in order to complete the upgrade process.

    I guess the virtual machine part is because you were running a Mac and Quartus isn’t available for the Mac?

    What happened to your keyboard in the picture above?! 😀

    #41471
    djc6
    Participant

    I used the VM w/Ubuntu because my only computer is a 2018 Mac Mini and Quartus Prime is only for Windows/Linux. I’d just finished retrobrighting the keys – they were much yellower. Also something I was attempting for first time 🙂 I set them outside for a day in a small closed clear plastic container with 3% hydrogen peroxide (clear liquid). I’m trying to make my C64C with the component mod installed my “nice” Commodore 64.

    #45158
    a7mag3ddon
    Participant

    Hello,

    I need to upgrade mine i think, is there any free windows software to accomplish this? I have just ordered a USB Blaster but wasnt sure if it came with any software

    Thanks.

    #45163
    tom64
    Participant

    For the firmware update I use under Windows 7:
    1. terasic USB-Blaster P0302 (bought at Mouser)
    2. Driver for the USB blaster from the terasic homepage (Usb_blaster_q161.zip)
    3. “Quartus Prime Programmer Standard Edition 20.1” from the Intel homepage
    4. * .pof firmware file from c0pperdragons github page

    For me, firmware 2.9 works without artifacts.

    #45164
    a7mag3ddon
    Participant

    Just wanted to check, i need to create an intel account to download the lite version, then download the driver pack called max 10 fpga device as well?

    I really dont wanna mess my board up haha

    #45301
    Analog Dude
    Participant

    Can someone please upload a video on how to do this? And will updating fix the jittering?
    This is how it looks like for me at 7:25 in the video.

    #45304
    a7mag3ddon
    Participant

    i updated mine to 2.10 and it didnt really fix it, i had to do the pixel clock fix.

    Isnt your issue thesampling phase of the OSSC setting though? try adjusting it in andvanced settings.

    #45307
    Analog Dude
    Participant

    If it is I don’t think it’s just the OSSC because I also get this issue when connecting the C64 directly to a CRT TV.

    #45311
    a7mag3ddon
    Participant

    Oh ok its not then, which model c64 mine was an older breadbin that had 407 part no inside, apparantly has a complicated clock circuit.

    #50345
    jdryyz
    Participant

    I know there is code that can be ran on the C64 to adjust the color palette. Can anyone point me to a link?

    Is there also a program to tell me what my current firmware version is? I just got my component mod this week and wanted to make sure the firmware is up to date.

    Thanks.

    #50398
    BuckoA51
    Keymaster
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